The rain fell in big, fat drops. The kind of rain that only fell on late summer days. Days like today.
The two stood in the pouring rain facing each other, holding hands. The man, tall, dark, handsome in a way. Nic. The woman, soft features, classically beautiful, with dark hair and pale skin. Jessica.
“Please don’t do this to me,” she said. Rain mixing with her tears. Her long hair was wet even under her hoodie.
“I love you,” was all he could say. The pain was obvious on his face. He was lost.
“Please don’t do this,” she tried again.
The rain fell around them, so thick that they could be alone in the world together. Alone in the park surrounded but the outline of trees that could barley be seen.
“I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you.” His words we soft, almost lost to the sound of the rain.
“Please don’t,” her voice, plaintive now, attempting to hold back her emotions.
“I...” He paused. He wanted to say too much, but he was fighting a losing battle. “I can’t go on without you.”
“Please.” She almost begged.
He paused for a long moment, then let her hands drop.
She turned to go.
“I will always love you,” He said as she turned.
She walked several steps away. He just stood there, head slightly down.
She paused about ten feet away. His heart skipped a beat. He didn’t dare move, not even to look up at her.
She turned, raced back too him. Their bodies collided, he didn’t even flinch. She stood on her toes to reach him, and kissed him on the cheek. Then turned and raced into the rain.
He stood there for a long moment. More grateful than he could ever think that she did not kiss his lips. He would have never been able to let go had she kissed him like that, a lover’s kiss.
He watched as she moved through the rain after twenty steps or so she vanished in a swirl of dark smoke.
He stood there for a long time, eyes closed. Feeling the warmth of her kiss fade from his cheek.
There, in the rain, he just stood. Just being still. Trying to sort out his emotions, his feelings for her. She would never love him the way he loved her. She couldn’t. But he could not fully let go of his feelings for her.
He calmed his heart. Slowed his breathing. Emptied his mind of all of this. Slowly the storm abated. The sun came out, birds began to sing again.
He turned on the spot and walked a few steps. Then he lifted off into the air. He flew, higher, above the remaining clouds. The wind and sun dried his clothing soon enough.
He wasn’t headed anywhere specific. Just wondering through the sky.
He couldn’t make her love him. He couldn’t be the man she wanted, perhaps even the man she deserved.
He noticed over his shoulder that storms had began gathering behind him. And once again he had to still his mind. And once again the storms dissipated.
He had to go somewhere to think, some place he could his emotions wouldn’t harm anyone.
There was a storm in the Pacific. He could feel it from here. He turned and headed that way, flying higher to shorten the time to get there.
A few hours he landed on a small island, devoid of human life. Here he could allow his mind to wonder, allow his feelings to rule him.
He took a seat on the beach, high up, away from the crashing waves. And there he cried. And the storm grew stronger.
Jessica arrived at her home.
She slipped out of her clothing and into the shower. She wept openly. She sat on the floor of the tub, letting the warm water wash over her.
He didn’t love her. She knew it. He had convinced himself he loved her, or maybe he had fallen in love with the idea of her. But not her herself.
As painful as it was, a clean break probably the best.
She didn’t love him, it wouldn’t be fair to lead him on. She didn’t love him... did she.
She pushed the thought out of her mind. She couldn’t love him. They were complete opposites. The circles she ran with would...
Again she pushed the thought from her mind. Going down that road was dangerous.
When the water finally became cold, she shut it off. She dried herself and put on a robe.
Soon she was sitting, feet tucked under her, in front of the TV with a bottle of wine.
A giant storm had just dissipated over some islands in the Pacific.
The wine warmed her more than the shower ever could. But it also allowed her mind to wonder back to Nic.
His eyes. His ideals. His sense of humor. His sense of right and wrong.
Why did he have to be one of them, a white hat, a hero.
Her story was simple. She knew why she was the way she was. Life had happened to her.
She felt the shift in the atmosphere of the room before she even became aware of the new arrival.
“What do you want Kios?” He voice was exasperated. She didn’t feel like company.
Kios walked to a chair by the couch, and took a seat.
“I didn’t invite you into my home, I defiantly didn’t invite you to sit. What’s your business?”
Kois smiled. A sly, deadly smile. Jessica’s skin crawled.
“We are aware of your meeting today. If not the content. The Seers could not see through the storm.”
Jessica didn’t answer the unspoken questions.
“They saw you cry.”
Again she did not respond.
“There is talk.”
This finally drew a response from her. “There isn’t anything to talk about.”
“Marcus wants to know if he can be turned.”
She tensed. If Marcus was involved it was serious. And if Marcus wanted Nic turned, which was unlikely, the only alternative was dead.
“I don’t... His will is strong, and he is one of the strongest of them. I don’t know if I can turn him, and killing him would pose a significant problem.”
“Yes it would,” Kois smiled, “But now we have leverage.”
Her thoughts raced. She couldn’t see a way out. She had to say something.
“If... If I can turn him I will.”
Kois stood. “I’ll tell Marcus. I’m sure you’ll do fantastic.” He reached a had out to touch Jessica on the shoulder.
“If you touch me, it will be the last time you ever use that hand.”
Kois’ hand stopped short. Then he vanished.
Nic sat on the beach. His mind was calm again, the storm had passed. He was exhausted. Sad, but his emotions were manageable.
He felt a disturbance in the air. Someone was coming.
A moment later Lados arrived. He landed gently in the sand and walked the several paces to where Nic sat. He sat next to his friend.
A long moment of silence passed between the two. Finally Lados spoke.
“You love her?”
Nic paused for a long moment, only the sound of the waves broke the silence. Finally he answered.
“Because I do. I can’t explain it more than that.”
“You know what she is.”
It wasn’t a question, Lados was trying to be diplomatic.
“I know,” Nic answered.
“Even if you turned her, even if she would come in, she would still have to do time, still have to turn state’s evidence and name names.”
“I know,” Nic stated, “And so does she.”
“People are worried.” Lados sounded concerned. “If she won’t turn for you, you may turn for her.”
Nic looked at him for the first time.
“She doesn't love me. She can’t let herself. She can’t turn. If she did, they would kill her before she could talk.”
Lados looked dower. “Even worse than that. Their best play at this point is to use her to turn you. If they can turn you think of what they could learn about us. About what we know, about what we’re doing.”
“She wouldn’t do that.
“You think that. But if she doesn't try they may just kill her. Or kill you.”
A crack of thunder rolled in the distance.
“Killing her would be a mistake on their part. And they can come after me as much as they want. It would take ten of them to bring me down and they would lose half in the process. Besides which... I would like them to try.”
Lados placed a hand on his friends shoulder.
“Don’t talk like that. Where you are concerned our Seers can’t see beyond today. And I’m afraid you’re going to do something stupid.”
“They can’t see beyond today because I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I’m not going to turn. I’m not going to bring down a fight I know I’ll lose. But other than that, I have no idea what I’m going to do.”
Lados smiled a friendly smile.
“That doesn't really make me feel better.” Lados laughed, “Just so long as we don’t have a Romeo and Juliet situation on our hands.”
Nic made a noncommittal noise. “Isn’t that what we already have?” He smirked. “Two houses and all that. She can’t change for me, I can’t change for her.”
“Then again, the Seers.”
“Well,” Nic answered flatly, “That’s simple. I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but at some point soon something will occur to me and I’ll make a decision.”
“Well, you need to decide soon. Their Seers may already know something if it involves Jessica. Go home, sort things out, sleep on it. Tomorrow will be a brighter day.”
And with that Lados lifted off into the air and flew away. Leaving Nic to think on his advice.
Jessica sat on the couch. The wine was gone. She tried not to think. Not to give the Seers anything to work with.
If she tried to turn Nic... No, she couldn’t think that.
If she turned for him... again the thought slipped away.
There was no good way out of this. Any way she choose she would lose something. Worst case was her life.
She got up, went to her room and dressed. She gathered some personal things and threw them in a backpack. She had no plan. She wasn’t even sure what she was going to do. No plan was the best plan at this point.
She pictured the doorstep to Nic’s most used apartment. A place New York.
Instantly she was standing there.
She knocked on the door, still not knowing what she would say or do.
For a long moment there was no answer.
Nic opened the door. He was fresh from the shower, dressed on pajama bottoms and nothing else. She soaked in the look of his body.
He was drying his hair with a towel, which he let drop to the floor when she saw her.
“Say it again.” He voice was soft.
“Just say it again,” she almost pleaded.
“I love you. I’ve loved you since we first met, before the powers, before the Guilds, before things became complicated.”
“Even with everything I’ve done?”
“You... the things you’ve... I know you. You’ve never done anything you can’t come back from. I know you.”
She was on the verge of crying. She slammed herself into him, he didn’t budge. She pushed the door closed and dropped her bag.
He held her, look down into her dark eyes.
“If I do, I’ll never be able to let you go again.”
She smiled. “I’m never going anywhere ever again.”
He kissed her. She kissed him.
Hands felt each other’s bodies. She teleported them to the bed room. Clothing came off and they fell into the bed. And there they made love.
Later they simply held each other. He stroked her hair she rested her head on his chest.
“They want me to turn you,” he said.
“They want me to turn you,” she answered.
He paused in stroking her hair.
She held he breath.
“They’ll both chase us.”
“That’s the beauty of it. There are other Exiles out there, people who can help us stay hidden. And we both have dirt that no one wants to come to light. We leave a threat. If one of us gets caught, the other flips sides and spills the beans.”
She smiled into his chest.
“You would do that for me?”
“Nothing says I can do some good works on the side.”
She rolled over to face him.
“Besides which, maybe I can help you learn to use your powers for something other than being one of the world’s best cat-burglars.”
She snorted and laughed at the same time, something he found endearing.
“Don’t start down that road Mr Man. The things I do...”
He interrupted her, “Are in a grey area in the best of cases.”
She looked into his eyes.
“Are you really willing to run for me?”
He smiled down at her.
“Where you go, so I go.”
“Then we need to leave now, before the Seers have the jump on us.”
Moments by J. R. Mrsser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at salientminutia.blogspot.com.